Interview with Fang VonWratenstein of Lords of the Trident
Just recently I had the pleasure of sitting down with Lords of the Trident lead singer/epic warrior Fang VonWratenstein. Up front I must apologize as I did dare to suggest that their take on metal was nothing more then a gimmick. How little I knew! Their quest is noble and just as I would find out and the battles were all too real and intense. While I did have to soldier-up and strap-on a huge amount of armor, which is just as heavy as one would imagine it to be, and arm myself with the sword and shield just to stay safe (as there are many who would love nothing more then to ambush these noble warriors) it was well worth it in the end! If you would like to know more about this mystical band there are plenty of links provided below and be sure to check out my review of their latest EP, "Plan of Attack", while you're at it!
Andy-Thanks for sitting down with us to answer a few questions. Could you please give us a quick run-down on who everyone is in the band?
Fang-No problem! I’m glad you’ve donned the appropriate amount of battle armor to keep yourself safe during the interview. You wouldn’t believe how many people sit down to interview us in just jeans and a t-shirt, and end up melted into a small puddle on the floor by the end. The name’s Fang VonWratenstein, and I’m the group’s Lead barbarian vocalist. On lead guitar, we have the incredible samurai warrior Asian Metal, and on lead guitar, the undefeated gladiator Killius Maximus. On Lead bass we have the high priest of Death, Pontifex Mortis, and finally on lead drums we have the head of the executioner’s guild, Sledge Garrotte.
Andy-How did the band's name come about?
Fang-After forming the band, we drank a considerable amount of ale and spirits, and had a long fight over what we should call ourselves. Eventually, we consulted an oracle in Greece, who ended up divining the name. Originally, it was “Lords of the Trident Unite”, but that was too long, so we ended up dropping the “Unite” part.
A-What about the actual band? How was Lords of the Trident conceived?
F-That is actually quite a long tale! If your readers would like to hear the epic quest in its entirety, they can visit our webpage (www.LordsOfTheTrident.com) and select the “Bio” section. But I’ll try to sum it up for you. Essentially, I was born from a volcano full of molten metal (AND steel!) at the beginning of time, and my one and only goal was to find the greatest metal warriors ever to roam the earth. After many travels, I finally collected a band so fierce, that even Death himself decided not to join us. He did, however, send us his highest priest to play bass. But I digress. We took a break after the 1340 “Black Plague” tour because of the PR backlash (sorry Europe), and in the late 2000s Asian Metal and decided to go back to college to finish up our pillaging and barbarian studies degrees. It was there that we wrote and recorded our first album - “Death or Sandwich”.
A-What made you decide to run with the costumes and storyline?
F-I’m not sure what you mean by “costumes”...these are our everyday battle gear! What, you think we’d leave the house without armor? I’ll have you know that we live under constant attack by a shadowy multinational corporation called SPIDR, and to venture outside with everyday garb is just asking for an arrow to the chest. We HAVE been known to change into our “normal people costumes” from time to time in order to escape the large, rabid group of groupies that seem to appear at every show. Those harpies be CRAZY.
A-Even though some people might question the use of a gimmick (and admittedly I fall within that group) there's no denying the strength of your material. It sure sounds as if tried and true, real heavy metal runs through your blood. Other then some of the "bigger names" like Iron Maiden and Judas Priest who else has inspired your sound?
F-Although we’ve been accused of using a gimmick before, you’d be surprised at how many mortals we’ve converted into metalheads just by wearing our armor on stage. Sure, we could go on stage “in costume” - black shirt and jeans - to try and fit in with the other bands out there, but why deny who we truly are? And why be so boring? Besides, some people come just for the show, and end up enjoying it so much that they quickly turn into fans of metal! We had a maiden the other day say to us, “You know, I didn’t think I liked metal before I saw you guys, but then I started listening to some Iron Maiden and I realized I really like it!” That put a smile in this barbarian’s rage-filled heart. “Metal” is such a polarizing word, and there are so many subgenres out there. I think most people see or hear the word “metal” and they instantly think of scary, angry dudes with beards and long hair screaming and growling into microphones while they play as fast as they can on their pointy guitars. Mostly songs about how they hate their dad. That sort of thing. The truth is that there is so much more variety to metal than just that, and that a majority of the general public would truly enjoy the more “classic” metal sound that we play.
Wait...what was the question? Oh yes, influences!
Well, since we’re immortal, and formed the band at the beginning of time, you could argue that every band since has been influenced by our sound. But if I had to pick artists that we listen to and enjoy, I’d say Dio, Black Sabbath, Savatage, Dokken, Manowar, and especially Dream Evil. We also enjoy the more “modern” type of metal as well. We’re huge fans of Scar Symmetry, for instance.
A-Of course that brings up another question. Judas Priest or Iron Maiden? Which one would stand victorious in your mind?
F-That’s a very difficult question. Personally, for me it would be Maiden. I think most of the band would answer the same way. Two years ago we did an Iron Maiden cover set for Halloween, and this year we’re doing Judas Priest, so it’s a very timely question.
A-How about Black Sabbath with Ozzy or Black Sabbath with Dio?
F-Unmistakably Dio. Not sure what the rest of the guys think, but for me there’s no better metal singer out there.(editors note: I totally agree!)
A-Given the chance which "big" name band would you like to play with?
F-I’d love to do battle with Manowar or Dream Evil some day. I’m sure both bands would put up quite the fight, and I’m well aware of Manowar’s axe handling skills. It would be quite the lengthy battle! Of course, we’d all give our right arms to play with Maiden or Priest, but if we did that we wouldn’t be able to play very well, so that would sort of defeat the purpose, wouldn’t it?
A-Are there any shows that stand out to you in your 5+ years with Lords of the Trident?
F-Absolutely! We’ve opened for some bigger names, including CAGE, 3 INCHES OF BLOOD, SKELETONWITCH, SLEEPYTIME GORILLA MUSEUM, PUDDLE OF MUDD, SALIVA, FUEL, and indie megaband OF MONTREAL. All of those shows were incredibly fun, but the Of Montreal one was just plain hilarious. Spraying my giant trident confetti cannon from between my legs on the front row of indie rock girls was something I’ll never forget. Recently we got to open for one of my favorite bands of all time - The Protomen, which is a band that plays rock operas based on Megaman. And in a few weeks, we’re opening for HELLOWEEN!
A-What can people expect if they have never been to one of your shows?
F-Fire, explosions, swords, confetti cannons, more fire, and the best music you’ve ever heard in your life. Take all the best experiences you’ve ever had in your life and try to condense them down into a 45 minute musical experience. That would be close to what we do during a live show.
A-Has there ever been a moment when you thought of dropping all of the extras and just going the blue jeans and heavy metal t-shirts approach?
F-We’ll have to save that for a KISS-style “Lords of the Trident: UNMASKED” episode of 60 minutes or something like that.
A-What's in store for Lords of the Strident for the rest of 2013?
F-We’re currently finishing shooting for our 3rd music video for “Complete Control” from Plan of Attack. Additionally, we’re finishing writing material for our next full album. We’ve got about 5-6 songs completely finished, and a few more in the works. Other than that, we’re releasing a few more t-shirt designs soon, and hosting some local battles in the Wisconsin area. After our recent tour, we’re enjoying some down time, writing songs and sharpening our blades for battles ahead.
A-How can people find out more about the band and pick up either your new EP or two previous full-length albums?
F-You can check out our main website - www.LordsOfTheTrident.com - for links to purchase our music and watch our videos. We’ve also got links for our Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc. on the page. Or, if you type “Lords of the Trident” into google, we’re the first 50 pages or so. Our music is also available for sale on iTunes, Amazon, and Bandcamp, along with many, many other places.
A-Is there anything else you'd like to add that we haven't covered?
F-For those who are curious, the scaled leather armor that covers my shoulders are called “pauldrons”. No one seems to know this fact! THE MORE YOU KNOW! (We don’t have any pictures with my new armor on the site yet, so check the facebook page.)
A-I'll give you the last word. Anything you'd like to say to your fans? Do you have advice for up-and-coming humor bands? Would you like to address the current political climate here in the U.S.? Have a favorite recipe you'd like to share? The mic is all your's!
F-Fans: Your seat at the banquet tables of Valhalla is confirmed. Advice: I actually have a monthly band advice column that I run, called “Words of Fang”. Interested warriors can check it out here: (http://www.welovemetal.com/newsite/wordpress/category/words-of-fang/). Politics: Don’t look at me, I voted for Kodos!
Make sure to go to our website, check out our music videos online, and buy our CD! And as my barbarian foster parents always said…”You can’t crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentations of their women if you’re listening to Nickelback.” So keep it true!
Barbarian Vocals, Lords of the Trident
Review of "Plan of Attack":